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Lemon Bars Box Mix

This box mix is actually a time-saver since making lemon bars from scratch can take up a good portion of your day. That being said, while this box mix is good, they are not as good as lemon bars made from scratch. Contessa Garten has a lemon bar recipe that is so good it will make you want to lie down and scream. 

I made her recipe once and of course I messed up. I put the base in a pan that was too small so I had to then put the lemon custard in a different pan. When I served the lemon bars it was more a shortbread cookie with a lump of lemon curd sitting on top of it. And it was still delicious. Contessa Garten’s recipes are such that if you misstep you can usually still end up with something worth eating.

I handed a serving of the messy ‘lemon bar’ to a friend of mine who took one look at the misshapen mess and said, “Aren’t these supposed to be more attached?” When I offered to give it to someone else, he tucked it close into his chest like a football or a newborn and said, “No, no, this is perfect.”

That’s what I thought.

Poolside Cosmos

Poolside Cosmos

Oh my fellow humans! These Poolside Cosmos are gooooooooooood. I made them at my cousin’s house. We were out in her backyard swimming, so I put them over ice in plastic wine glasses rather than fancy martini glasses. Read more

Limoncello Vodka Collins

We haven’t made drinks in awhile. Don’t get me wrong, we have been drinking but it’s been wine and vodka sodas. So this weekend Felicia and I juiced some lemons, bought some limoncello and made a pitcher of Contessa Garten’s (Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa) Limoncello Vodka Collins. I also made some roasted nuts but they were kind of gross so they are in the picture but don’t bother with them. Read more

Tomato and Avocado Salad

Tomato and Avocado Salad

This week I make Contessa Garten’s Tomato and Avocado Salad mostly because I have a bunch of avocados in the house. Also, this is probably the last hurrah for tomatoes. I changed the onion to shallot since raw onions give me heartburn.

I would say onions give me heartburn because I am old but raw onions have been giving me heartburn since I was in my mid-thirties.

And no, mid thirties is not old. Read more

chocolate cake with mocha frosting

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

I did it again. I made Contessa Garten’s chocolate cake with mocha frosting and I feel no shame. None. I feel a little queasy from having eaten so much cake but I can live with that. It’s my birthday week so I started it off by taking Six to Disneyland then I made this cake and then I ate a bunch of cake and then for the rest of the week I am going to try and have my favorite foods from my favorite restaurants for one meal a day.

That’s how I can cheat out of recipe challenge! I’ll write about all the foods I love to eat! Did I say cheat? I totally meant…uh…weasel my way out of. Read more

Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta

Bruschetta is bread rubbed with garlic and oil and then grilled. It doesn’t have to have chopped tomatoes on it. I did not know that. The version I made of Contessa Garten’s Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta is a little altered. I completely forgot to buy the cheese which didn’t matter since I don’t own a food processor so I wasn’t going to be able to whip it up anyway. And I refuse to put cheese in my blender. Read more

Lemons background

BarefootContessa.com

If you want to make some of the recipes I have been stumbling and bumbling through, then head on over to barefootcontessa.com and start poking around. It is the best recipe webpage I have ever used. It is clean, easy to use, and it isn’t loaded with advertisemtns. I am leaving how badly I misspelled that word because I think you should know what a dunce I can be. Read more

sangrias

Summer Rose Sangria

Okay, full disclosure. Any sangria I drink at home comes in a bottle that I dump in a pitcher, then chop up some plums and throw them in with a bunch of ice and call it good. If the wine is suuuuuper cheap, I add 7up.

This Summer Rose Sangria from Contessa Garten is only as good as the wine you make it with. I bought yummy wine and it was delicious. There is a lot of fruit, that made it fresh and bright. I found these things that are a cross between a plum and a cherry and I bought them to go in the sangria. I ate them all the day before I made the sangria so there were no plums in mine. Older son and his friends did not notice. They drank most of the sangria and said it was delicious. These are young people just starting out after college so they are broke and I gave them free booze. It could have tasted like paint thinner and they would have loved it so I drank some and it was indeed very good. Read more

Contessa Gartens lemon chicken with satay dip

Grilled Lemon Chicken Skewers with Satay Dip

This week is Contessa Garten’s lemon chicken with satay dip. I don’t own a bbq so I couldn’t grill the chicken for this recipe. I have a Cuisinart indoor grill thing that I used instead and it worked great. And I didn’t have to work with open flames so that was good. It’s summer and sweltering so I don’t understand why people want to go outside and stand over smoking hot coals to cook food. That seems something to do in Spring and Fall when it is cooler and the bbq could warm you up.

But whatever. Cooking is a mystery. Read more

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting Recipe Challenge

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

This week I made Contessa Garten’s Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting. This cake is too delicious. I am warning you, do not make it. You will eat as much of it as you can so that other people cannot have any. It will become your precious. You have been warned. I am going back to the kitchen to shovel more cake in my face. I wish I was kidding. Read more